History of Schaumburg dates back to the early 1840’s when local farmers organized a German Lutheran congregation, and in 1847 they built their first church. A few years later there was a controversy over the name for the little town that was emerging near the church; some wanted it to be Lutherville, but in the end it became known as Schaumburg Center. It grew very slowly, for the area, though fertile, was swampy, and there was no railroad depot to open the communications with Chicago and stimulate rapid growth.
The construction of the Northwest Toll road in 1956 wrenched Schaumburg from its isolation. Schaumburg-area farmers took an active role in industrial, commercial, and residential development. Soon a large number of streets, often at dizzying angles to avoid quadrilateral monotony, spread out from the old center, until by 1980 the population numbered 53,305 and the land was almost entirely built up.
I-290 came to border Schaumburg to the east, cutting it off from the forests and sloughs of the Ned Brown Forest Preserve; to the north it extended as far as the old Algonquin Road, once an Indian trail and then the route of the Chicago–Galena stagecoach. In the northeastern area emerged Woodfield Mall, opened in 1971 and one of the region’s largest shopping centers. Schaumburg today is a mature community, with a small industrial area in its southwestern section and a great variety of churches, schools, and open places. Its German origins are now muted, though they live on in road names like “Biesterfield.”
While Woodfield defines Schaumburg to outsiders, residents have returned to the old crossroads at Plum Grove and Schaumburg Roads to develop a new town center in the 1990s. Local shopping, a public library, public recreational facilities, the government center, and a bandstand now provide residents with a service core.
Encyclopedia of Chicago